As the winter chill sets in, we at weddingvenues.com often find our minds meandering into little sun-filled daydreams… but while it’s winter here it’s summer down under, so here’s a stunning Australian wedding to inspire us with gorgeous styling, sunny skies and an abundance of colour!
Ashleigh and Adam tied the knot in Abbotsford Convent, a characterful building with a fascinating history and National Heritage List status, set within a beautiful park in Melbourne; an oasis of tranquility in the bustling cosmopolitan city.
In February, the month of their nuptials, the average temperature in Melbourne is a very pleasant 21 degrees celsius. (Just pause for a moment and consider that info… the average temperature for the UK, by comparison, is just 7 degrees…)
When asked about what, if anything, they would do differently, the answer came back firmly, ‘we really wouldn’t change anything!’ (Actually, Adam’s first answer was, ‘Can I change my wife?!’ but we’ll ignore that and put it down to Aussie humour!)
So, with thanks to Darin Collison, the photographer behind these fabulous photos, let’s have a look at Ashleigh and Adam’s wonderful wedding day, and find out how they got there:
Adam and Ashleigh originally met quite by chance, on an aeroplane as they each headed off on an adventure through Thailand. Ashleigh with her girl-friends, Adam with his lad-friends; the two groups hit it off immediately and ended up travelling together for the next three weeks. Ashleigh recalls how at this stage there was certainly no dramatic love-at-first-sight moment; more the slow, steady growth of a beautiful friendship that developed years later into romance and understanding that they were each other’s perfect match.
Ashleigh and Adam have taken their time to get to know each other inside out – and it has clearly paid off! So, what is their advice for creating and maintaining a strong relationship? Keep laughing, don’t let things get too serious! Also, communicating effectively with each other, listening to and respecting the other person’s point of view, even if you don’t agree with it. We couldn’t agree with you more, Ashleigh!
When it came to the proposal, Adam popped the question in the elegant town of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. With the ring burning a hole in his pocket all day, Adam must have been on tenterhooks for them to finish their super-long walk, get seated at their favourite restaurant… and surprise his beloved.
As she outlined the design for her wedding dress, Ashleigh had a few stipulations in mind: no to lace and anything too traditional, but yes to a really long train and a fitted form. To create a more modern look, a range of appliques and mesh fabrics were used to embellish the gown and magnificent train to stunning effect.
In considering the style of their wedding, the happy couple were determined to fill their special day with lots of bright colours, fun and energy, to reflect their personalities and relationship. The vibrant floral displays really bring this to the fore, with an abundance of complementing colours and flowers.
During the wedding photo shoot, the bride and groom each held orange smoke bomb, releasing clouds of swirling colour. This fabulous orange hue, the colour of warmth and life, is a brilliantly bohemian twist to their mix of modern and traditional styling.
For another splash of colour, the bright confetti in large, multi-coloured rounds of orange and turquoise is an energising take on the traditional pale pastel pinks and whites.
Ashleigh and her mum were inspired to add lots of individual touches to the decor, and put in many hours lovingly hand-crafting unique features; as Ashleigh explains, ‘we were very hands on! From the beginning, I came up with all the concepts and then my mum and I brought them all to life over the next few months.’
One gorgeous addition to the wedding breakfast tables was the salt and pepper shakers; the mother-of-the-bride hand-painted 80 sets of oyster shells! In combination with the exquisite flower arrangements, tea light candles and hand-written table and place cards, the dining room looked sensational.
The hall at Abbotsford Convent has impressively lofty ceilings, and Adam and Ashleigh wanted to make the most of this spectacular space. An ingenious idea became reality as Ashleigh’s uncle, who runs a family nursery, brought in 16 oak trees; wrapped all around with hundreds of delicate fairy lights, the effect was magical!
This bride and groom’s creativity shone through the day in so many ways, as they cherry-picked the best bits of a traditional wedding day, while dispensing with others to design a truly individual celebration.
In the spirit of equality, and to honour Adam’s late grandfather, both Adam and Ashleigh changed their names upon marriage. Adam and his grandfather had shared a really close bond, and in both husband and wife taking on this new shared name, they intend to keep the memory of him alive now and in the future.
Finally, what words of advice would Ashleigh offer to those brides-to-be still in the planning stages?
As she says, ‘don’t get too caught up in the styling of it all. People can go way, way overboard with it all but at the end of the day if you can nail all the big ticket items like the ceremony, the speeches, food and the music, no one is going to remember what colour the tablecloths were, or whether there was Aesop soap and heaps of candles in the bathrooms or not. It’s really easy to get so caught up in the detail, but on the day, none of it even matters.’
We know you’d love to see more of Adam and Ashleigh’s celebrations, so here are some more photos following their day from first preparations to late-night party. Enjoy!
Dress: Helen Manuell
Makeup: Tre Dallas
Hair: Sarah Caporale
Accessories: Ichu Jewellery
Bridesmaids Dresses: Finders Keepers
Grooms Suit: P Johnson Tailors
Photographer: Darin Collison
Flowers: Botanics of Melbourne
Ceremony and reception venue: Abbotsford Convent